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August 5, 2011
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(Contains: violence/gore, strong language and ideologically sensitive material)
              The Hypnosis Incident

The doctor's office was a dark shade of bluish green. The walls were aligned with plaques and certificates, his bookcase full of thick volumes on psychiatry and psychoanalysis. In the middle of the room was a large, fake wooden desk and a plush high-back leather chair.
     It didn't look like her mom's office at all.
     Fiona sat on the couch beside the desk, her legs shaking and body limp. She wasn't sure why she had agreed to see the psychiatrist. She felt vaguely violated by her father's presence in the room despite knowing he was only offering his support, and as he sat next to her, she only felt more terrified by what personal issues he might hear.
     The door slung open and Dr. Stern entered, a bulky metallic pen clipped to his pocket. Stern had been an associate of her mother's before she took ill, and was an old family friend. However, she'd always felt awkward around him, as if the tall, unshaven man would somehow be a threat. Still, he was well respected as a psychiatrist, and both he and her father had been trying to get her to confront the nightmares for almost ten years. No matter how she felt, there was a reason her mother liked him, and she couldn't deny that he only wanted to help.
     "So, Fiona," Stern said, pulling the pen from his shirt pocket, "I know this is uncomfortable for you, so if it's okay with you I think it'd be better if we skip the basics and begin."
     "Are you sure you have what you need?"
     Stern smiled. "Yes, actually."
     "Then I guess so."
     Sitting down in the chair, he turned toward her and held the pen for her to see. "I want you to focus on this pen. Put all of your effort into it. Block everything else out but the sound of my voice, and think of nothing but this pen and the sound of my voice." As she did this, he began to move his fingers toward her eyes. She felt tired, peaceful even, as her eyelids began to close.
     "Now as you listen to my voice, you will begin to sink deeper into a state of relaxation." Though she heard him, his thoughts seemed funny and she felt strange, as if her and Stern were the only two people in the room. She could hear his voice echoing deep within her mind. "Okay Fiona, I want you to think about your dream. Can you do that?"
     She began to feel very anxious. In front of her, the scene began to unfold: that long climb up the stairs, the destroyed building, and finally the corpse-ridden wasteland surrounding the lone tree.
     "Can you tell me what you see?" Stern's voice seemed to echo from the sky.
     "Yes," she said. "There's a tree. I know this tree, but I can't place where I've seen it. I feel like I want to approach it."
     "Do that for me. Tell me what happens."
     She began to move closer to the tree, watching it slowly die, going from a blossoming plant to a dead, ugly chunk of wood. "It's dying. Each step I take toward the tree makes it die a little more."
     Stern's voice echoed in her mind. "Can you tell me about the monster?"
     Now she felt terrified and distant from him, as if the mental bridge had doubled in length and was beginning to crumble. The sudden thought of the monster scared the hell out of her, and it made her feel very powerless and unimportant. "I don't--I don't want to."
     "It's all right Fiona. There is nothing to be afraid of."
     With that statement, the dreamscape she was in vanished, and instead she began to see flashes of images in her mind. There was the beast towering far above her and Rod cutting himself. There were the corpses, the puddles of the blood, and the smell of charcoal and burnt flesh. Then, these familiar images began to give way to the bizarre and unfamiliar--a wide sadistic smile, laughing at her. Within that smile she could see strange and unknown landscapes; a deep, seemingly bottomless cavern, housing a gigantic stone stairwell and a massive granite throne. She saw a barren world of molten rock and smoke that she recognized as the forming earth, covered in bizarre beings too horrible and alien to describe. Beyond that, a city constructed of human bones, with unmentionable things lurking inside its shadows and corridors, and throughout all of it a horrific, cackling laugh threatened to tear her soul apart.
     Then the mouth spoke in a familiar voice, one she couldn't place: "You're just a nosy little fucktard, aren't you Fiona?" Then, a high pitched squeal filled her mind, drowning out all other sound and summoning her into nonexistence, and before she lost the ability to make sense of what was happened she felt a pain that shouldn't be there, a horrible piercing feeling within her eyes.
     Then then, nothingness.

                            * * *

Had Carter's face not been covered in fur, he imagined it would have been as white as a sheet. His daughter had fallen from the couch onto her knees, her arms limp and palms upturned. Her head was tilted back, her eyes rolled back into her skull and oozing thick, viscous red fluid that he could only described as a congealed blood. Across her face, he could see a twisted half smile begin to emerge, and he turned to see Dr. Stern horrified, unable to grasp what was happening.
And then her head leaned forward, and her eyes connected with Stern's. "Theodore Stern," she said in a snide tone, "how happy I am to see you again." Though it took a moment for him to accept it, the voice coming from her mouth was not hers. Deep, sadistic and terribly shrill, it was undoubtedly the voice of a man, though with a harsh element that made it seem impossible for a human or hybrid to make.
     "Who are you?" Dr. Stern asked.
     "Clickity-clack. Clickity-clack. I'm the straw that broke the camel's back."
     The doctor's face lost its color. For a moment, he was speechless, staring in utter terror at his patient."
    "Not happy to see me? I suppose I can understand. If it hadn't have been for the pencil you gave me, I wouldn't have been able to stab myself would I?"
     Carter was shocked. What he was seeing was impossible; he'd always believed that possession was a matter of folklore, a misinterpretation of mental illness. But what he was seeing before him was impossible to describe as anything else. Reaching out, he attempted to touch her, to verify he wasn't insane himself, but without even blinking she grabbed his wrist and twisted it. He screamed in pain.
     "Not now you little bitch, we're having a moment." This voice was very different--familiar, but very wrong and definitely not his daughter's. "Take a back seat for now, Doctor, I'll eat you when the time comes."
     As she released his hand, he fell back on the couch, his body shaking madly. He felt as if he were very small, as if his daughter were a giantess staring down at him. She smirked, and wiped a drop of the fluid from her lip before finally turning her attention back to Stern.
     "Oh, Doctor, Doctor," she said, climbing to her feet and approaching him, "I can't tell you how interesting this is. Hijacking a body is never easy, even for me." She began to climb on top of Stern, holding his hand back and pressing her forearm against her throat. "Mortal minds are just too simple. They're so easy to break. If I had to describe the experience to you, I'd say its like a genius trying to get into the head of a cockroach. There's no foolproof way to do it. But, as you can see, it hardly limits me. I'm still pretty close to full power."
     And in an instant she was standing behind him, pressing the tip of the pen against the flesh under his chin. "See, that's where you and I differ. If you entered the mind of a cockroach, the creature's body couldn't handle it. I, however, have no problems making this body work." Then, she pushed, and the pen broke through the flesh with a sickening pop. Bright red blood gushed from his throat, soaking his clothes; Carter could hear him gagging. "Yeah, that was kinda hard. I had to concentrate like hell. One tiny slip of this girl's nerves, and I'd have shoved this pen and the hand holding it straight into your brain."
     And then she ripped the pen out, throwing it across the room, and it embedded in the door with a loud thunk. "Enough of this crap. This stupid cunt's brain is giving me a splitting headache." Then Fiona's face gained a peaceful look, and she collapsed onto the floor behind the doctor's chair.
     Cautiously, Carter approached, placing a small handkerchief onto Stern's throat. In a hoarse voice, he heard Stern whisper, "I'm fine. Didn't break the windpipe."
     "I'm still going to call an ambulance and get that worked out, okay?"
    "Not. A problem."
    "Hold this." Carter waited a second for Stern to grab the cloth, and then checked his daughter's pulse. Though her heart rate was elevated, it seemed fine. Moving quickly, he removed the smartphone from his jacket pocket, and with Stern's approval he dialed 911.
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